Whittington Hospital TILT

The key thing for me was the way we were able to engage patients during the live process. Once we started doing the prototyping, we got so much feedback. It was completely different from the questionnaire process.

Dr Helen Taylor, Chief Pharmacist, Whittington Hospital


A design-led approach enables teams designing services to test ideas for improvement to better inform the commissioning process.

It enables a greater understanding of service users and internal resource challenges through gathering practical insights, allowing services to be reshaped through understanding of genuine need. It can help manage risk – identifying problems early through rapid, low-cost, iterative prototyping and testing of ideas to inform development rather than expensive pilots.

We can introduce you to key design methods, including customer journey mapping, low-cost prototyping, and visual techniques for articulating problems and potential solutions. These tools introduce new ways of working, which can promote better engagement with your stakeholders and service users far beyond the immediate challenge.

By encouraging collaborative ways of working and cutting across silos, design enables teams to quickly reframe complex challenges and gain feedback to implement faster solutions. It also provides a solid framework for achieving innovation which can complement transformation programmes across organisations.

At a time when the economic climate is pushing up demand for public services and forcing providers to think of alternative solutions, design has never been more integral to the DNA of each and every public service.


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We customise our design coaching programmes to suit your needs.

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What we offer

Our support provides an opportunity to learn appropriate key design methods and principles which have been proven to enhance the success of commercialisation through the application of the strategic use of design.

For more than a decade we have been supporting organisations to learn new approaches and apply design methods to improve, reshape and transform services. Each programme is delivered by highly experienced, independent design management specialists, our Design Associates.

1. Introductory training

We deliver training programmes introducing organisations to the value of design as a driver for innovation. These can be delivered as standalone courses or modules that act as a 'plug-in' to existing programmes.

Training is normally delivered to groups of 20-30 delegates and can be tailored to particular themes.

2. Intensive, project-focused coaching

Our coaching programme enables teams to define, develop and implement new solutions, supported every step of the way by one of our expert mentors. This programme is deeply immersive and collaborative, rather than consultative.

Through a mix of workshops and coaching on site with the project team over 8-13 days (as required), our expert mentors will take you through to implementation, including support for the identification, briefing and commissioning of suppliers if appropriate.


  • Providing a new framework which allows frontline staff and users to co-design new services.
  • Building capacity and tools within teams to enable design methodologies and techniques.
  • Creating an inclusive, agile culture by using a whole-organisation approach.
  • Aligning projects and processes with the needs of service users to gain insight and improve performance.
  • Limiting risk by introducing key methods, such as testing and prototyping, before major expenditure.
  • Mentoring to maintain focus and deliver outcomes which are visible, tangible and measurable.

Past participants have also seen results improve because of culture change within their organisation which supported new business models and efficiency savings, and from a lasting legacy derived from acquiring new skills that can then be used again for future design-led innovation in-house.

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Find out more about our programme of design support for the public sector.



We have a national network of expert, independent design professionals, our Design Associates, who bring their considerable experience to our design support work.

Case studies